“It’s my sort of new life so to speak” – students’ experiences of transition to higher education in the Long First Year project

  • Rachel Spacey University of Lincoln
  • Liz Mossop
Keywords: student experience, retention, transition, higher education, interviews, qualitative data


The process of transitioning to Higher Education (HE) is challenging. This paper reports on an institutional research project at the University of Lincoln called the Long First Year. The project takes a holistic view of the factors influencing student retention and involves staff and students from across the institution. Comprised of three phases, the first phase included interviews with current students about their experiences and views of transition. This account of research in progress reflects on the transition experiences of current students as revealed in the qualitative data collection and analysis used to inform the project and the resulting set of guiding principles for future initiatives which are in development.